Hurricane Preparedness: Staying Prepared When Disaster Strikes
Hurricanes are most common along the East Coast and areas bordering the Gulf of Mexico. These powerful storms are unstoppable, but the right preparations can keep you and your family safe through the worst of it.
Create an Evacuation Plan
If you live in a home that is deemed unsafe for hurricanes or if you live in a storm surge hurricane evacuation zone, start by creating an evacuation plan. Determine where you would go if you were ordered to evacuate and how you would get there. Identify any hurricane shelters or any friends who live more inland in a safe zone. When you do get the order to evacuate, leave immediately.
Assemble a disaster supply kit featuring everything you need to get through the storm and potential deal with the hurricane’s aftermath. Gather enough water, medicine, and non-perishable food to last at least a week for each person in the family. As the electricity may be out for an extended period of time, make sure you have a portable or solar-powered charger for your phone and a bright, sturdy flashlight or lantern with plenty of batteries. It’s also a good idea to have a battery-powered or hand crank radio to keep up to date.
Other items to pack in your disaster kit include:
- Basic first-aid supplies
- Local maps
- A dust mask to filter dirty air
- A whistle to signal for help
Reinforcing Your Home
If you do decide to stay home, consider reinforcing your home’s foundations and ensuring that it meets local hurricane building codes. This includes:
- Boarding up windows with plywood or aluminum or steel panels
- Trimming trees and foliage around your home
- Bringing in any patio furniture and other loose outdoor items
- Moving your car to a secure location
- Securing all doors, especially your garage door
Hurricanes can be highly destructive, but with the right equipment, you can ride out a hurricane safely and minimize any potential damage to your home.